Link bait is a term that really has a negative connotation, and some people frown upon using it to increase your website traffic. However, when used properly link bait techniques can drive traffic to your website and produce positive results.
What Is Link Bait and Why Should You Use It?
As already stated, many people have a negative impression of link bait. To clear that up, link bait is simply content on your website that naturally attracts inbound links, something interesting that catches the attention of people. It draws traffic to a website without the use of keyword searches or specific searches for that website. Link bait is not necessarily a fake story or misleading story, but can refer to any number of versions of legitimate content that tempt people into clicking on a link.
There are certain advantages to using link bait to draw readers to your website. It’s a way to reach new audiences, which is always a positive for your website. New audiences can lead to more sustainable website traffic and conversions, which in turn, can lead to a higher rank in search engine results.
Types of Link Bait
Generally speaking, there are three main types of link bait. The first is great, unique, high-quality content that appeals to readers. This is really what every content writer strives toward. Another type of link bait is breaking news. Breaking news is something that attracts everyone’s attention, even if the breaking news is just a few sentences. The third main type of link bait is evergreen content. This is content that was previously published, or has been altered just slightly. Evergreen content is content that is always relevant and provides useful information to the website visitor.
Now for the specifics about content. The types of link bait can be broken down into specific linkable content types, and there are different goals with each type. Perhaps you’re just trying to get new people to visit your website, or maybe you’re trying to coax previous website visitors back to convert them. There is no one-size-fits-all with linkable content, and what works for one website may not work for another.
Visual content refers specifically to things like images and videos, rather than text. Many internet users prefer video content over text, so it’s important to try to appeal to an entire audience, rather than just one segment. Infographics are very popular right now, too, and they’re a great way to present a lot of information, but broken down into manageable chunks.
Comprehensive Coverage of a Topic
One of the current trends with creating content is to create longer content that covers a topic in depth, rather than a shorter length that is essentially a summary of a topic, or a particular section. This allows you to answer nearly any question a reader might have about that particular topic.
There’s not much that generates internet traffic as much as a controversial statement or post, particularly on the internet. People love to comment on controversial topics, and this can pull a lot of internet traffic to your website, with both positive and negative results.
Contests and Freebies
This method works well for attracting new visitors to your website. People are willing to exchange their information for something in return, and whitepapers and e-books are common, relatively inexpensive prizes. The point is to attract potential customers without having to spend a lot of money.
Don’t pass up an opportunity to interview a well-known person who has ties to your business field. People enjoy hearing the stories of how business owners got to where they are now, particularly if their stories are inspirational or unusual.
Take Up a Cause
If you feel strongly about particular issues, create content around that. It’s okay to share your personal beliefs with your business customers, but just be aware that not everyone will always agree with you. Present your opinion in a non-inflammatory style that encourages thoughtful discussion, rather than argumentative debate.
Use Social Media Portals
There are certain websites on the internet that are often responsible for something going viral online. Websites such as Digg, Reddit, and popular blogs are areas of the internet where people share images, memes, and content to thousands of other people. If you want your content to spread quickly through the internet, share your content in these forums. Participate in these forums, to make sure that your content is generating good publicity, and if there are any negative comments, address those immediately.
Monitor the Results
Once you’ve created the link bait, you have to pay attention to the results. Track the sharing of your content by watching social media sites, blog search engines, and search keywords. You should see an uptick as your content is shared more and more. Follow the company and product names that are associated with your content sharing, and you may even see your competitors looking over your content.
While link bait techniques often have negative connotations with internet users, there are some bait link techniques that can be used successfully, without resorting to trickery or deception to people who click on those website links. Link bait techniques can be used to increase your website traffic and eventually get higher conversion rates, but they have to be used in the proper ways.
About the author: Sam Cyrus is CEO and co-founder of Agseosydney, a Digital Marketing agency from Sydney. Sam is also a creative writer and likes to share his insights on entrepreneurship, business, online marketing, SEO and social media. He currently collaborates with Nirmal, a company which deals with custom website design in Sydney.